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Posted: 1/10/2005 5:38:49 AM EDT
I picked up a new ar15 at my FFL a few days ago.  They don’t sell rifles, so everyone behind the counter wanted to fondle it while I awaited approval of the transfer.  It didn’t take long for me to regret allowing this to occur, as someone dropped the bolt on an empty chamber, something I would never do.  I was taught it was a bad idea since the bolt is not decelerated by the action of stripping a round from the magazine, and nicely asked those playing with my rifle not to do it again.

This event later prompted a discussion of just how bad this is for the rifle, which is my question to the forum.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 5:45:51 AM EDT
Tag.  

I do it all the time.  I dont think it is any big deal.  If the bolt cant take that, how can it take the violent unlocking in the other direction?  But I dont know.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 5:49:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FALARAK:
Tag.  

I do it all the time.  I dont think it is any big deal.  If the bolt cant take that, how can it take the violent unlocking in the other direction?  But I dont know.



+1.  I think the same way, but I try not to do it.  It just doesn't feel good to me.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 5:52:05 AM EDT
I do it.  But not very often.  Usually, I'll pull the charge handle back and follow the bolt till it reaches about half way then release it on the empty chamber.  
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 5:56:10 AM EDT
won't hurt your rifle.  feels like it might.  they're made out of tougher stuff than that.  this thing was designed to be soldier proof, (relatively) it can take the bolt flying home.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 6:13:20 AM EDT
Heck, don't worry about it.  It is a battle rifle.  If that hurts it, I want NOTHING to do with it.

Now a fine 6000 dollar hunting rifle or something is a different ballgame, but these are TOUGH FIGHTING TOOLS.  

Doc
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 6:13:38 AM EDT
What you dont want to do with any gun is drop the bolt (or slide, as the case may be) on a full chamber.  When you manually load a round and drop the bolt forward, instead of sheering the round off the top of the mag, it forces the extractor over the casing and puts undue pressure on it.  Always load a round from a magazine, when possible.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 6:36:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2005 6:36:25 AM EDT by tfod]
Dropping the bolt on an empty chamber is part of  inspection arms for the M-16 rifle (USMC).  
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 6:38:38 AM EDT
Dropping the bolt on an empty AR-15 is NOT a problem.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 6:56:11 AM EDT
Manufactures do it repeatedly as a matter of course on the production line, the military do it, there is nothing there to break or wear out in the normal life span of the lugs turning into the locked position. It is not a delicate weapon design made to be babied. However if it makes someone upset, don't hand it to those who might treat it like it was made to be handled.
Jack
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 6:56:19 AM EDT
As most everyone else stated, don't worry about it.  It doesn't hurt anything and if it did mine would have been busted up long ago.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 7:00:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DallmannTodd:
What you dont want to do with any gun is drop the bolt (or slide, as the case may be) on a full chamber.  When you manually load a round and drop the bolt forward, instead of sheering the round off the top of the mag, it forces the extractor over the casing and puts undue pressure on it.  Always load a round from a magazine, when possible.



That may be true for 1911's.... but I dont think that applies at all to the AR15.... or any round bolt weapon.  Take a look, the extractor has to slide over the casing in all cases, whether fed from the magazine or from a single load.... from what I can tell.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 7:00:58 AM EDT
Well, it appears I have been “pampering” my ar15s in the past .

I appreciate everyone’s input and the education on this matter.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 7:10:34 AM EDT
The whole assembly is more or less designed around burst and full auto firing rates. Allowing it to slam closed is not going to hurt anything. What you may want to watch though is dry firing.

The military uses dry firing for "snapping in" trigger and sight picture practice, but in general this can prematurely wear the pin shoulder and hammer stop. Using a couple of good, quality snap caps is a small expense.

These guns are designed to be used. Yes, some parts will eventually fail. That'll happen on any firearm though. Never be afraid to use your tools and to practice, practice, pratice. The more familiar you are with them, the better. You will never gain that familiarity with it sitting in your gun safe...

All that being said? I wouldn't have let them "play" with my brand new rifle either. If anyone is gonna cause wear and tear on my hardware, it is gonna be me...

Link Posted: 1/10/2005 7:11:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AlanD:
Well, it appears I have been “pampering” my ar15s in the past .

I appreciate everyone’s input and the education on this matter.



Ah, don't feel bad, just think, some people keep their weapon in a smoke free enviroment, LOL, THEY DON'T EVEN SHOOT IT.
Jack
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 7:12:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2005 7:14:06 AM EDT by stephen_101st]

Originally Posted By DallmannTodd:
What you dont want to do with any gun is drop the bolt (or slide, as the case may be) on a full chamber.  When you manually load a round and drop the bolt forward, instead of sheering the round off the top of the mag, it forces the extractor over the casing and puts undue pressure on it.  Always load a round from a magazine, when possible.



That only applies to handguns and some rifles that feed from a single column mag.

As far as dropping the bolt on an empty chamber, it is part of the M4/M16 "manual of arms".  It can handle it.

Stephen
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 7:12:43 AM EDT
I do it all the time.  I figured, if anything breaks it just gives me an excuse to buy more parts.  
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 7:17:09 AM EDT
Us in the Army have been doing this in drill and ceremony, its part of Inspection Arms.  It wont hurt it.  
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 7:25:57 AM EDT
In the armory it is pul it into the window look into the chamber to ensure it is unloaded, slap the side of it to send to bolt forward, pull the trigger, put her into the rack for some RandR.

I do the same with my bought rifles. That includes the one I have 2500 into.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 7:29:34 AM EDT


Come on, think about this.  If you can't slam the bolt forward w/ out a round, how would you perform a function test on the rifle?
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 7:29:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tfod:
Dropping the bolt on an empty chamber is part of  inspection arms for the M-16 rifle (USMC).  



and the US Army.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 7:53:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CB1:

Originally Posted By tfod:
Dropping the bolt on an empty chamber is part of  inspection arms for the M-16 rifle (USMC).  



and the US Army.


And the Seattle S.W.A.T.
I do it all the time and never give a second thought. Like was said before,,,If the action is that delicate, I wouldn't want anything to do with it.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 7:53:53 AM EDT
Good to go I do it daily.h.gif
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 8:01:53 AM EDT
I do it pretty often, guess it's not a big deal.  It is a battle rifle.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 8:04:38 AM EDT
i do it all the time.  have no problems
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 8:10:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2005 8:10:26 AM EDT by M4Kid]
i just made a video of me doing it, w/ sound!  Can someone host it?  
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 8:32:18 AM EDT
I do that all the time. No problems yet. Didn't even cross my mind that it would hurt it.

I've probably done it at least 100 times.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 8:46:46 AM EDT
Dropping the bolt on an empty chamber will not be a problem on any quality AR and will cause no damage at all.  I do it with mine when checking function and and weapon status.

I also want to add that dry firing is also okay and highly recommended practice on AR's too.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 9:10:40 AM EDT
I agree that dropping the bolt on a loaded chamber isn't an issue as far as damaging extractors.  However keep in mind that it can result in a slam fire in guns with an inertial firing pin. The resistance of the round coming out of the mag( or M1 clip) slows the bolt speed and greatly reduces the risk of slam fires.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 9:52:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Isomerase:
I agree that dropping the bolt on a loaded chamber isn't an issue as far as damaging extractors.  However keep in mind that it can result in a slam fire in guns with an inertial firing pin. The resistance of the round coming out of the mag( or M1 clip) slows the bolt speed and greatly reduces the risk of slam fires.



A good argument for using nato or military ammo with hard primers
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 10:00:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CB1:

Originally Posted By tfod:
Dropping the bolt on an empty chamber is part of  inspection arms for the M-16 rifle (USMC).  



and the US Army.



[flamesuit] and the US Air Force.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 10:44:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By stephen_101st:

Originally Posted By DallmannTodd:
What you dont want to do with any gun is drop the bolt (or slide, as the case may be) on a full chamber.  When you manually load a round and drop the bolt forward, instead of sheering the round off the top of the mag, it forces the extractor over the casing and puts undue pressure on it.  Always load a round from a magazine, when possible.



That only applies to handguns and some rifles that feed from a single column mag.



Hear, Hear!

I can't tell you how many times I've had to some dumbass Gun Store monkey who was about to drop the slide on the empty chamber of my Colt 1911A1 Model 70.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 3:17:09 PM EDT
INSPECTION ARMS! READY... PORT (SLAM...SLAM...SLAM..SLAM...)...ARMS (CLICK CLICK CLICK)!
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 3:38:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2005 3:39:41 PM EDT by LoneWolfUSMC]

Originally Posted By Seamonkey84:
INSPECTION ARMS! READY... PORT (SLAM...)...ARMS (CLICK)!



**Edited for Marine Precision**

+1, I have no idea how many times I have done this.

I have NEVER had a USGI bolt fail. Remember that the rifles that endure this the most are usually infantry rifles that see FA use as well.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 8:37:32 PM EDT
Try dropping the bolt on a FAL sometime, and hang on!
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 9:48:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2005 9:48:42 PM EDT by Seamonkey84]

Originally Posted By LoneWolfUSMC:

Originally Posted By Seamonkey84:
INSPECTION ARMS! READY... PORT (SLAM...)...ARMS (CLICK)!



**Edited for Marine Precision**

+1, I have no idea how many times I have done this.

I have NEVER had a USGI bolt fail. Remember that the rifles that endure this the most are usually infantry rifles that see FA use as well.



haha, well, i was more saying its the slaming (the topic) and the clicking (dry fire topic constantly comming up) repeatedly, but yea, it does sound like popcorn with some newbies
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 12:14:28 AM EDT
I think you would experience more problems dry firing the AR without a snap cap then dropping the bolt on any empty chamber.  That being said, I still try not to do it.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 4:09:36 AM EDT
The rifle is designed to be (as noted above) fired in full auto and burst modes.  The stresses of such operations are WAY beyond what happens when you hit the bolt release and close the weapon.  It WILL NOT hurt the rifle in any way.

When I was issued a rifle in the Air Force, the armorer (or more often, the range instructor) would pull the charging handle back and lock the bolt back, then show me the empty chamber before my hands went anywhere near the rifle.  When I accepted the rifle, I was supposed to release the bolt RIGHT THEN.  I was told that this was to keep people from slapping a loaded magazine into the well and then "accidentally" releasing the bolt to load the weapon.  In other words, the protocol calls for the rifle to be closed before a magazine is inserted.

So you take a rifle from the armory that is demonstrated to be empty, close it while you walk to the firing line, open it while it's on the line before any firing, clear it (safe-drop mag-open-verify empty chamber-close) between ALL courses of fire, and clear it after all firing, then demonstrate that it's empty to the armorer by the same process he used in issuing it.  That's a LOT of closing the rifle on an empty chamber.

My last assignment was at Lackland AFB, where all USAF basic training is conducted.  The rifles used for everyone to qualify are the ones they use for the basic trainees.  These poor rifles get the crap beat out of them (many/most were converted from M16A1 to M16A2 in the field) day after day.  They ALWAYS work (if the operator doesn't screw up).

I will continue to close mine in that way, and I do not expect to EVER see any ill effects from it.
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